News & Articles

Employer Wellness Program Target of EEOC Lawsuit

Published on April 27, 2014

Employee fired for not participating
By Kristin Nealey Meier

A recent lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Orion Energy Systems claims that Orion violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring an employee to participate in the company wellness program. The employee, who refused to undergo a non-job related health assessment, was made to pay the entire premium for her employee health insurance and was subsequently fired.
By forcing employees to participate in its wellness program, the EEOC asserts that Orion violated the ADA and the employee’s federally protected right to not be subjected to unlawful medical and disability-related inquiries. This is the first EEOC lawsuit that directly challenges a wellness program under the ADA. Stay tuned for more developments as the lawsuit progresses.

Kristin Nealey Meier is a partner in Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC’s Employment Rights, Benefits and Labor Group. She can be reached at 206.654.2293 or [email protected].

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This message has been created by the Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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